Editorial style guide: Use of Abbreviation and Acronyms


Abbreviations are shortened from of a word. Some of the commonly used abbreviations are e.g. for example, cont for continue or continued just to name a few. Even thought abbreviations are not often used by technical writers during the documentation process it is basic for any writer to know.


Acronyms are composed from a group of words or a phrase.  Sometimes they are pronounced as words or spelled out. They are normally formed by placing the first letter of every word in the phrase together.
During the writing process, especially if acronyms are used for the first time, it is better that they are spelled out within parenthesis and can be used as acronyms thereafter in the document. Acronyms when written in their plural form do not need an apostrophe.

Examples of an Acronym:

  • It’s been three years since I purchased this PC (Personal Computer).
  • The PCs are all brand new.

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